Charles Lee Burkhart

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Charles Lee Burkhart 8/18/1927 - 7/27/2012 Our beloved Carlitos, Daddy, Papa, Granddad, Grampy, Gra-Gra left us on Friday, July 27. He was a devout Christian, a lover of all mankind, a Democrat to the tips of his toes, a fighter for justice and the little guy. Charlie's passions included his family, his church, golf and music, particularly the elegant symphonies of Mozart and the vibrant flamenco guitar of Carlos Montoya and, of course, his beloved jazz. He enjoyed singing with great gusto, especially with a slice of pizza in his hand. The newspaper business became a way of life for Charlie when he accepted his first job as a copyboy on the San Francisco Examiner. He learned quickly and soon became an apprentice in the sports department. His career took him to various papers in Missouri, Kansas and his home state of Arkansas. In l959 he joined the Arizona Daily Star as a copy editor and in 1965 he moved to the Tucson Citizen where he served as copy editor, wire editor and state editor and in 1971 he was promoted to copy chief and named assistant news editor of the Citizen. He moonlighted at the UA teaching basic reporting and editing. His last day of class was always special for Charlie who established a tradition of sorts. He and his students repaired to a local pub--he bought the beer and everyone let his hair down. "It never failed," he would say, laughing. "The kids were amazed that I was actually human, and suddenly I became the best teacher they ever had." In 1980 Charlie left the Citizen and became the first Business Editor for the Arizona Republic. He retired in 1985, moved to the Empire Mountains where he became a carpenter, ditch digger, plumber and built a mountain home where he and Cass enjoyed watching the deer roam and driving his old Army Jeep over hill and dale. He also edited books for Arizona Highways to earn golf money. Age and illness forced Charlie and Cass to sell their mountain home and move to Corona de Tucson. Charlie was active in the St. Michael and All Saints parish until his move to Phoenix. Upon their return to Tucson he and Cass joined St. Andrew's Church where both were active in various projects. Charlie also volunteered for the Community Food Bank and the Veterans Administration pharmacy. He is survived by his wife, Cass, of 32 years; four daughters by his first marriage to Judy: Lisa Chapman (Stewart), Julie Rojo (Gilbert), Laura Kozlowski (Stanley) and Janie Burkhart. Also surviving are the two daughters he added to his clan when he and Cass married: Lou Cardona (Dave Johnson) and Susan Cardona (Jay Townsend); grandchildren: Jill Rojo-O'Brien (Jennifer), Sarah Chapman, Danny Lorentzen (Lori), Stephen Kozlowski, Jessica Townsend; great-grandchildren: Matthew O'Brien-Rojo, Josie Lee O'Brien-Rojo; Veronica and Vincent Lorentzen. Also surviving are many nephews and nieces. The family thanks Jeffrey Selwyn, MD, his wonderful staff; the staff at Interim Care Agency and the staff at TMC Hospice for the loving care they provided. Services will be held on Wednesday, August 1, at St. Andrews Church, 5th Avenue and 16th Street, at 10 a.m. with burial at East Lawn Cemetery Veterans' section. In lieu of flowers, contributions to St. Andrews Church, the Community Food Bank, or , or just a kind act to someone in need. Vaya con Dios, mi amor, you'll always have a place in all our hearts. Arrangements by EAST LAWN PALMS MORTUARY.

Published in the Arizona Daily Star on July 30, 2012
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